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Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled By Jesus Christ

Chapter Twelve

The Exaltation of Jesus Christ

Prophecy - Psalm 110:1
Fulfillment - Acts 2:32-36

In this final chapter we will study the exaltation of Christ, for there can be no doubt that the above scriptures bear witness to His deity. The first passage from Psalm 110, foretold Jesus in His glorious position, seated at the right hand of the Father (where He is even now). The second passage tells of the Day of Pentecost when Peter preached Jesus and in doing so, referred to the passage from Psalms. A careful examination of the above passages will reveal that Peter was using the prophecy of David as a means of proclaiming the exaltation of Christ, our blessed Saviour.

Paul said “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God” (II Timothy 3:16); therefore, when the prophets of old spoke it was because “...they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (II Peter 1:21). All the Bible, both Old Testament prophecy and New Testament fulfillment, were inspired by the power of the Holy Spirit so that Jesus might be magnified and glorified. Jesus said of the Holy Spirit, “He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you” (John 16:14).

As God inspired the various writers of the Bible, many prophecies of Christ were given in the Old Testament and they are called Messianic Prophecies, because they told of the coming Messiah, God’s Son. Each of those prophecies gave some “mark” by which men would identify the Messiah when He came into the world. Therefore, when Jesus came just as David said He would, it was evident his prophecy had at last been fulfilled. We are truly blessed in this day and age because we not only have the prophesies of the Old Testament, but also the enlightenment of the New Testament. Therefore, in addition to the two initial passages upon which this study is based, it may be helpful if we also consider other similar passages as we endeavor to understand how Christ fulfilled the prophecy of David.

Clearly, David wanted us to consider the Lordship of Christ when he wrote “The Lord said to my Lord.” In the New Testament Peter also called attention to the Lordship of Christ when he said, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). Peter proclaimed that Jesus is the promised Messiah and as such, God the Father made Him the Lord of glory. In the Book of Revelation, John said of Jesus, “And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:16). Paul also reminded us that our heavenly Father “exalted” Jesus and tells us that we should confess Him as Lord. Paul wrote, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11). As our Lord, He possesses power and authority over our lives.

The Biblical teachings which declare the Lordship of Jesus also proclaimed His Sonship. Jesus is not only Lord over sinners but verily the Son of God, and He is exalted by both positions. This can be seen on one occasion, when a lawyer tried to trick Jesus and entrap Him by His words. That lawyer did not know he was dealing with One infinitely wiser than himself. When Jesus answered his question by rightly declaring the “great commandment,” the lawyer and those Pharisees who accompanied him, were left speechless. In their “What think ye of Christ? Whose son is he?” (Matthew 22:42). They immediately answered “The son of David.” Jesus responded with two more questions. “He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?” (Matthew 22:43-45). Of course, they had no answer and the dialogue ended abruptly. In that brief conversation it is difficult to miss the point Christ was making by using Psalm 110:1; as the Messiah He is the Son of God.

Jesus wanted them (and us) to think about what David had prophesied. Remember, that David said, “The Lord said unto my Lord.” Those words reveal that Jesus is much more than merely the son of David. That title was a valid title to the Jews and interestingly enough, the New Testament describes Jesus in that way. Matthew 1:1 says, “The book of the generations of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” While it is true that He was the “son of David” by reason of His lineage, those Jews had no idea of His deity and sovereignty. Thank God, we understand that He is the sinless Son of God; God manifested in the flesh (I Timothy 3:16).

We must also notice that “the Lord” (God the Father) said to “my Lord” (God the Son), “Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool” (Psalms 110:1). Give careful attention to the fact that Jesus was exalted as He sat on the right hand of the Father. That glorious privilege has not been given to anyone else, not even the angels of heaven. The writer of Hebrews recorded these words about Jesus in Hebrews 1:3-5: “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?” Jesus is declared to be “the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person”and is proclaimed to be “better than the angels.” The angels are God’s messengers but Jesus is God’s Son! This truth is also declared in Hebrews 1:13 when it says, “But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?” Here we are reminded again that Jesus is exalted as He sits at the right hand of the Father. Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, the Son of God; sits on the throne of God! Time and time again the exalted Christ is glorified in the pages of God’s Holy Word, the Bible. It is almost like an echo that resounds again and again, so that we can never forget the exaltation of Christ as He sits on the right hand of the Father.

Let us look briefly at a few additional passages which declare this wonderful truth. In doing so, hopefully we can understand why God calls our attention to it so frequently. The concept of Jesus on the right hand of the Father, is indeed the heart of David’s prophecy in Psalm 110:1. Its importance is seen by the fact that it is often repeated in the New Testament and tied to many other ideas essential to the Christian faith.

The fact that Jesus is sitting on the right hand of God is connected in Scripture to His crucifixion and death. In Hebrews 12:2 we read, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” As Christ faced the agony of the cross, His joy was in seeing the accomplishments of His sacrificial death. He died for our sins and indeed, for the sins of all God’s elect. Yes, He despised the shame and stigma associated with such a cruel, suffering death. No doubt, some thought Him guilty of some hideous crime and justly deserved such punishment; but it was not true. Even Pilate said, “..I find no fault in Him” (John 19:4). It was a shameful death but He was guilty of nothing for which to be ashamed. He had no sin of His own; it was our sin for which He suffered and died (I Peter 2:22-24). What a wonderful and loving Saviour, Who is at the Father’s right hand, having endured the cross.

Father’s right hand, having endured the cross. Jesus sitting on the right hand of the Father is also connected to the resurrection of our dear Saviour. Speaking of God’s power Paul said, “Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:20). Christ manifested His power in every miracle He performed while in the body of His flesh. Whether He gave sight to the blind, strength to the lame, hearing to the deaf, speech to the dumb, or cleansed lepers, fed the multitudes, walked on the water or raised the dead; none so gloriously displayed and proved His power as when He rose from the dead. Jesus said He would rise and one memorable reference is found in John 10:18. There Jesus spoke of His life and power saying, “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” Thank God, we serve a risen Saviour!

We are also told in Scripture, that the position of Christ in the prophecy of David, has a connection to the ascension of our Lord. In Mark 16:19 we read, “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.” This truth is important or God would not have connected the ascension of Christ with His position at the right hand of the Father. His glorious power was obvious; to rise from this earth and ascend heavenward by no visible means, was a great testament to His sovereign power and deity. Jesus had said, “ ...All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:19) and it was clearly displayed as He ascended to be seated at the Father’s right hand. May such a simple reminder of His great power and position, cause us to rejoice with the proclamation of John when he said, “...Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth” (Revelation 19:6).

The position of Christ at the right hand of the Father is even connected to His intercessory work. Paul wrote in Romans 8:34: “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” There are always people who look for a reason to condemn us, but rejoice that Christ is risen and now intercedes as He sits at the right hand of His Father and ours. None of us have the right to approach God on our own merit. We will never accomplish enough good to be able to stand before God on the basis of our deeds. Our access to God is always and only through the Person of Christ and His shed blood. Hebrews 10:19 says, “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,” we are allowed to approach God in prayer as we come in the holy name of Jesus. Right now, Christ makes intercession for us. May we give Him thanks and praise Him in our hearts.

There is one more passage we will consider before we conclude our study of Psalm 110:1. Paul admonished us, saying, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1). All too often we focus on the lesser and vain things of the world. We devote much of our lives and efforts to the acquisition of material possessions. If we realize that our Lord and Saviour is now at the right hand of the Father in heaven; then let us look upward and lift our hearts heavenward. May we seek the things which worship and glorify Christ.

Having considered the position of Christ on the throne of glory, let us take a quick look at the final thought contained in Psalm 110:1. After mentioning that Christ is at the right hand footstool. All, without exception, shall be put under His feet. Those of us who love Jesus often find it difficult to imagine that He has enemies, but He does. He had enemies while here on earth and they have not dissipated and disappeared. They sought His death then and they seek to destroy His kingdom and people now. Jesus said, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you” (John 15:18-19). All enemies, even death, shall at last be defeated by His sovereign power. Paul said, “For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet” (1 Corinthians 15:25). He rose victorious over death and one glorious day He will return and raise us from the dead, forever putting an end to its power over us. Paul said, “Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:51-54).

Let us rejoice in the truth of God’s Holy Word. Just as the words of David were fulfilled in Christ; even so, all the Word of God is true. May the prophecy of David, encourage our hearts to do as Paul wrote in Philippians 4:4. He said, “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” Let us also give glory to Him with all we possess and all that we are by His grace. “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's” (1 Corinthians 6:20). Amen!

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This page last updated on November 1, 2015